A Hundred Gourds 3:3 June 2014

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Steven Carter - USA


Susan: a goddess incarnated in the light on my bedroom ceiling (I was a first-grader). Susan had created herself; I was simply along for the ride, so to say.

Where did she take me? To the Land of Oz, which I was introduced to at the age of seven as a “cure,” I now suspect, for the trauma of finding my father’s body on New Year’s Day 1951. —Oz: glass towers in the distance; fume of golden poppies in the fields; flying monkeys in the distance carried by the east wind—they, too, along for the ride.

Susan kept monsters under the bed where they belonged. Or did she? One night I dreamed of giant insects climbing up the sides of skyscrapers—grasshoppers, praying mantises, ants, I forget which.

What god or goddess (so I wondered when I woke up sweating) created these bad boys? —But what really struck me was the lack of perspective in the dream. I wasn’t inside the building, so where was I? Floating in air; sitting on a sky-hook; gazing through heavy lenses from the roof of another skyscraper?

No, no, now I have it—the real question, I mean:
What was I?

Morning star

All the lives in mine                     

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